Friday, April 11, 2008

Colorado National Monument

By Wednesday, April 2, Brian was feeling well enough to travel, so we loaded up the car, said our goodbyes, and headed west. We got out the map and saw that a place called Colorado National Monument, near Grand Junction at the western edge of Colorado, was right on our route, so we decided we’d stop there. In just a few hours we were there. We bought our America the Beautiful pass there – only $80 gets you a year’s admission into pretty much all federal recreation areas, like national parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national forests, etc. What a deal! And if you’re a senior, ten bucks gets you a lifetime pass.

The main attraction was a 25-mile scenic drive through the park, so we started on that. The first pullout was a trailhead, so we hiked out to Devil’s Kitchen. For the first time in months, we felt warm! We were only a few hours away from Breck, but the weather was a world apart. It had snowed two feet in the mountains just a few days before we left, and now it was 70 degrees and sunny. A welcome change! Skiing and snowboarding all winter were fun, but we were ready for some warm weather!

We took some pictures along the hike. The juniper berries were out in full force:

The Devil’s Kitchen turned out to be this grotto:

Here’s Sarah, happy to be wearing just one shirt instead of her typical six-layer ski attire:

Back on the drive, there were lots of scenic pullouts with views of gorgeous red-orange rock formations and canyons. Here’s one of the canyons:

Off in the distance were pretty snow-capped mountains, reminding us of where we’d been:

Some of the neat formations:

By the time we neared the end of the scenic drive, it was getting late, so we decided to set up camp in Saddlehorn Campground, the park’s one campground. We set up camp and then hiked out to an overlook to enjoy the sunset views.

The next morning, we headed out of the park and drove another scenic road in Utah:

Next stop: Arches National Park, near Moab!


Dharshan said...

Great shots of delicate Arch!

twoinatent said...

Thanks Dharshan! It's hard to take a bad shot of Delicate Arch at sunset. It's very photogenic. :)